Jim Turner

Arizona has been a photogenic favorite location for movie producers over the years, and dozens of entire movies and individual scenes have been filmed in the state since the early 20th century.

Historian Jim Turner will describe movie-making in the Grand Canyon State during the weekly summer lecture at the Arizona Senior Academy Thursday (June 29).  The lecture, entitled Arizona Goes to the Movies, begins at 3:30 p.m. in the Great Room of the ASA Building.

Turner will talk about the plots and players and behind-the-scene stories of Charles Laughton, Jean Harlow, John Wayne and many more in classic movies filmed in Arizona from silent movies to Cinemascope.

Popular movies filmed all or partly in Arizona include 3:10 to Yuma, Tombstone, Planet of the Apes, The Bells of St. Mary’s, Casablanca, Raising Arizona, Psycho, Little Miss Sunshine, Stagecoach, Days of Thunder, The Big Country, Broken Arrow and Gunfight at the OK Corral.

A graduate of the University of Arizona, Turner earned his master’s degree in U.S. history at the UA in 1999. He retired as historian for the Arizona Historical Society in 2009 to write the book Arizona: A Celebration of the Grand Canyon State. His new pictorial book, The Mighty Colorado River from the Glaciers to the Gulf, is one of True West magazine’s top travel books of the year.

Turner has been an Arizona historian since 1976, and is now associate editor for Rio Nuevo Publishers where he has authored, co-authored or edited more than a dozen books. He gives talks for senior communities, clubs, and conventions, combining interesting facts from Arizona’s unique history with humorous anecdotes.  He has taught a number of courses at the high school, community college and university levels.

Written by H. Deon Holt, Academy Village Volunteer

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June 29: Making Movies in Arizona
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